Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a member of the Orthonairovirus genus of the Nairoviridae family and is associated with haemorrhagic fever in humans. Although T lymphocyte responses are known to play a role in protection from and clearance of viral infections, specific T cell epitopes have yet to be identified for CCHFV following infection. A panel of overlapping peptides covering the CCHFV nucleoprotein and the structural glycoproteins, GNand GC, were screened by ELISpot assay to detect interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production in vitro by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from eleven survivors with previous laboratory confirmed CCHFV infection. Reactive peptides were located predominantly on the nucleoprotein, with only one survivor reacting to two peptides from the glycoprotein GC. No single epitope was immunodominant, however all but one survivor showed reactivity to at least one T cell epitope. The responses were present at high frequency and detectable several years after the acute infection despite the absence of continued antigenic stimulation. T cell depletion studies confirmed that IFN-γ production as detected using the ELISpot assay was mediated chiefly by CD8+ T cells. This is the first description of CD8+ T cell epitopic regions for CCHFV and provides confirmation of long-lived T cell responses in survivors of CCHFV infection.
Goedhals, D., Paweska, J. T., & Burt, F. J. (2017). Long-lived CD8+ T cell responses following Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus infection. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006149